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Thread: Sensitivity Readers

  1. #21
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dluuni View Post
    Are you TRYING to sound like a villain making a vague ominous threat here?
    Nope, I'm being blunt, direct and honest, per usual, basing what I'm saying on observations that cover a lot of years.

    If you don't like that... *shrug*

    You really aren't any more special that anyone else, and are quite free to hit the 'ignore' button and not read a thing I write.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dluuni View Post
    I don't want....
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    ... being 'Politically Correct' isn't necessarily about being accurate to to the behavior or characteristics of any particular person or group of people, it's about what they want.
    Yeah, "Don't want" works too.

    I could certainly make a very long list of things I don't like or don't want, just as everyone here can.

    It won't change a thing though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dluuni View Post
    Well, the entire thing is about politeness.
    Politeness to the point of dishonesty, more often than not these days.

    And although I won't set out to intentionally offend anyone, I'm not going to tiptoe around their particular sensibilities when I speak, just because someone doesn't like what I say, or how I say it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dluuni View Post
    "Wait, what do you mean by that?" or "That's pretty mean to say",
    Somewhere out there are people who will find anything that a person can say or write offensive, just as someone somewhere will like things someone else finds horrible and offensive.

    So what? Walking around with a chip on one's shoulder for long enough, someone will be encountered sooner or later that'll knock it off. That's just life and human nature.

    And some people are, as one of my drill instructors used to say "spring-loaded in the dumb ass position".

    Again, so what? Deal with 'em and move on. Or deal with 'em BY moving on.

    Concerning me trying to be a villain... nope. I'm just speaking my mind.

    ...which, according to various comments I have received in my time here, some people actually appreciate.

    Lastly, if you personally feel threatened by me or something i say... that's all on you. Because I don't waist my time with that sort of bullshit. And I certainly wouldn't waste my time with doing so over the damned internet, even if I were inclined to make actual threats.

    ...but do remember that you can simply use the ignore function and not have to read or respond to anything I have to say, if it offends your delicate sensibilities.

    Because I certainly don't have any intentions of changing, for you or anyone else.



    G.D.

    P.S., one of several reasons I quit being a moderator is because I got tired of reading crap from people I'd rather just ignore past a certain point.
    ( Yes, I like my 'Ignore Pile'.)
    Last edited by Guard Dog; January 13th, 2019 at 04:41 PM. Reason: Typo
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  2. #22
    Member MzSnowleopard's Avatar
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    one thing in this conversation that catches my 'wait a minute' twitch is this paying for sensitivity readers. WTF? My beta readers do it for 1. the experience, 2, helping a fellow writer, they don't get paid for it. I don't know any beta reader that does- so why would or should a sensitivity reader be paid? If they're saying they decided to start charging or complaining about the amount of work, then move on.

    And I think that's the bottom line on the lot of the subjects in this thread. If something doesn't appeal to you, if something offends you- MOVE ON! Take the book back and get a refund, this alone would tell the publisher, the writer that you found their book not to your liking.

    In this day and age of electronic and virtual communications everyone is voicing themselves on forums, blogs, etc. Sometimes, the most powerful statement we can make is a shake of our head and turning away. You know, like we used to do in person. But not today, people feel compelled to tell the world their thoughts on something because we can. We don't stop think if we should.

    People have voice to me their belief that I need to have this type of character or that type in my novels- and if I don't my book won't sell.
    I put this into the same file drawer as the comments telling me my books won't see unless I have at least one sex scene- because I'm a woman.

    I, personally, think that my writing style is considerate of other races and gender preferences. The problem is that "people in general' seem to feel it necessary to deem my book(s) unworthy unless I include what they want.

    I don't use words that are now considered derogatory and unacceptable by today's social standards- words like cripple or darky or retard to name a few we're all familiar with.

    I mentioned in a previous post about my offense of Tom Clancy's The Bear and The Dragon. I can't get a refund because the book was a gift. I didn't give the gift back not because I didn't want to offend the person but because she had moved away. I keep thinking 'one of these days I'll get rid of it.' Maybe I'll donate to a library. The point is- I decided it wasn't my kind of book. I believe that you can write a good book, a winner even, without the f-bombs and heavy use of foul language. That's me, it's my opinion and preference. I do not believe that I have the right to go onto my blog, twitter or a forum and bash the book and Clancy for his use of the words. Clancy obviously didn't have a problem with using f-bombs, and apparently his publisher didn't have an issue either. That's their choices, I made mine when I chose to put it down and move on. There was no blog post, no tweet, I just moved on to the next book.

    I didn't need a sensitivity reader then. And I'm seriously questioning the motive behind the need for them now. Is it really about sensitivity or is it about telling writers what they can and can't have, what they need to have in their books?

    Whatever happened to letting the writer write the story that's in their imagination?
    "Sometimes I wish I could stay asleep, not because my life is that dull and boring but because my dreams are just that good." - Mindy Dyksterhouse (MzSnowleopard)
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  3. #23
    I see the words "Sensitivity Reader" but my mind reads "Political Officer".


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  4. #24
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
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    MzSnowleopard, before I say anything else, I want you to know that I absolutely do love and appreciate your post, #22, which is currently right above this one as I type.

    ...but I also want to point out the incongruity, paradox, and often-hypocritical nature of the human race:

    And that's the fact, that for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, people still have problems with WORDS, but not necessarily the THOUGHT behind them.

    For instance, you say you can't read a book that contains a lot of 'F-Bombs'... and yet, in your very first line above, you say "WTF", here:

    Quote Originally Posted by MzSnowleopard View Post
    one thing in this conversation that catches my 'wait a minute' twitch is this paying for sensitivity readers. WTF?
    What. The. 'F-bomb'... That's the thought.

    No, you didn't use the actual word, but you very much did pass along the THOUGHT it represents.

    I just find that hysterically funny.

    And I personally work under the... theory? Practice?... that if I'm gonna think it, and it's an actual part of my thinking process, I might as well use the very word that best passes along my thought and meaning.

    ...and if people don't like that thought or meaning, fine, I understand. But getting twitchy over the word or words I use to carry it, and NOT the actual thought... just seems weird/odd to me.

    After all, the sole and only purpose of language is to accurately carry what's in one person's mind to that of others.
    ( And yes, I've said this many times before, both on this forum and many other places. )

    We are all here to better learn how to use language to convey our thoughts, in the end, and it just seems counter-productive to me to throw out certain words just because we have some personal dislike or prejudice concerning a few of 'em.



    G.D.

    Edit: Yep, Sigmadog slipped in there before I finished typing. Now the post I'm referring to is above his.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  5. #25
    Mod note: Yes, a potentially sensitive area.

    Just a general reminder to keep the posts impersonal.

    Thanks


  6. #26
    Major issue is just that people insist that they aren't being rude, they're avoiding the obvious slurs, and that's enough to write a character from various minorities.

    It is not.

    There are many, many layers of experience that people outside those communities are completely clueless about, and they are incredibly fundamental ones. The usual misunderstandings creates a hideously offensive caricature that didn't say anything overtly rude, but is still creepy and messed up. You can do a lot of incredibly offensive stuff while never saying a single slur or repeating any of the worst stereotypes, and it's usually done without any malicious intent.

    I don't write M/M or F/F plots right now because I simply do not understand them well enough. I've never been in either of those communities, nor have I really ever had any reason to deal with them much. At some point, I'm sure I am going to have to do a LOT of research to find out how to make a plot like that work, but I do not feel like I can do it justice with my current level of understanding. This baffles people for some reason; people think they understand me and my husband's life because 'I have a gay friend', but LG people are among the most clueless out there.

    Almost my entire genre is a horror show of creepy and offensive caricature that I can't stand. People with no experience in the community insist on writing about the community, and it is all misleading, it is all full of stereotypes that literally cause people to be murdered, and it is all pervertedly creepy in ways that I cannot comprehend the attraction of. I have to scroll down a long, long way just to find something that isn't completely bizarre. My husband picked one of them up and ended up throwing the book across the room in disgust a quarter of the way in, because that's not how this works, that's not how any of this works. And from comments of random people I encounter on the street, people assume they are all accurate and true to the point that the most common reaction is to start arguing that I, not they,am wrong about my own life story.

    So no, you can't just think your way through these things, you need help.

    I use beta readers and my contacts to connect with people in the appropriate communities. I can imagine a large publishing house would have people on staff to check that who get paid, if only because of the quantity of work. I'm not sure why people would be shocked to find that a large publisher would rely on paid employees for that rather than relying on charity, and it's one of many things that as a solitary author, you probably can get away with farming out for free with favors much in the way that I have to make my own covers rather than having an art director and a graphic designer who can design them for me. I'm just asking people to occasionally proof a couple chapters, not giving them a dozen books a week, every week to proof.

  7. #27
    I want to touch on a few points that have been made.


    Compensation

    Using an unpaid beta reader is potluck. You can get what you paid for -- nothing. At least nothing good. So the idea that a writer shouldn't pay for services is faulty.

    Is it possible to find someone who will do the well just to help out? Sure! And the service can be excellent. But it might not.

    If someone does a job, any job, well, why should that person do it for free? There will be so many wanting that service that the person will not have time for his/her own projects, or possibly a paying job. No. I don't blame others for wanting to be paid for services rendered.

    At the same time, I understand that not everyone can afford to pay for services. In that case, one must search for the right person who can do the job well and is willing to do it for free.


    Sensitivity Reader versus Beta Reader

    A sensitivity reader is a specialized beta reader. You might find a beta reader that can give you feedback on how you portray a certain group, but you might not.


    Sensitivity readers are police, or why can't I just write the story I want to write

    There is no law that says you must use sensitivity readers. Of course you can write what you want. Of course the reader who is offended can simply return the book for a full refund. But how does that help you, the writer?

    It doesn't. You may never know why a particular book is being returned. If the reader doesn't write a review, and many don't, you will be clueless. And your reputation will already be established as someone who doesn't understand (insert name of group), but pretends you do anyway.

    Once a reputation is created, it's difficult to change. That's acknowledged here when staff allows previously banned members to join under a new name. It gives a clean start. But once readers know your real name, getting a clean start can be impossible.

    The job of the sensitivity reader, as I understand it, is simply to give the author information. What the author does with that info is totally under the author's control. You, as the author, can use it to make modifications, or not. It is a way to help authors get their books and stories sold. At least increase the odds.

    If you don't like sensitivity readers, don't use them.

  8. #28
    Admin Note:


    Once a reputation is created, it's difficult to change. That's acknowledged here when staff allows previously banned members to join under a new name. It gives a clean start. But once readers know your real name, getting a clean start can be impossible.


    This is blatantly false, Jack. We do not knowingly allow previously banned members to join under a new name. A banned member may apply for re-admittance to the forum (a.k.a. Amnesty) but that is completely up to Admin to decide and they are not issued a new name or allowed to create a new identity. Get your facts straight before you publicly comment concerning our policies.


    Last edited by Gumby; January 13th, 2019 at 06:37 PM.
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    If you truly wish to be.~ Willy Wonka

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by sigmadog View Post
    I see the words "Sensitivity Reader" but my mind reads "Political Officer".
    it seems part of the formula right now to make money. Harlequin ya is a big deal, right? If you're trying to be successful you may have to pay attention to this stuff or risk getting blackballed. Welcome to the awoke world.

  10. #30
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    Welcome to the awoke world.
    Man, do NOT get me started.

    ( I can go from zero to 'Terminally Offensive' faster than the speed of thought, where stuff like that 'We waz Kangs' crap is concerned. It's one of the reasons I avoid some conversations like the plague. )


    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

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